May 24, 2004 — The 2004 Yeshiva College Scholarship Dinner on Tuesday, June 15, pays tribute to four of the college’s distinguished alumni and launches the celebration of Yeshiva College’s 75th anniversary. The event, at the Marriott New York at the Brooklyn Bridge, also includes a 10-year reunion of the YC Class of 1994.
The four alumni honorees are Rabbi Dr. Jacob Adler, Rabbi Murray Grauer, Dr. Jonathan Halpert, and Rabbi Dr. (Col.) Victor M. Solomon. Each is being recognized for his service to the community at large and to the continuity of their generations at Yeshiva University. Three generations of the families of Rabbi Adler, Rabbi Grauer, and Dr. Halpert, and two generations of the Solomon family, graduated from Yeshiva University schools and affiliates.
The dinner’s venue, on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, is just across the river from where Yeshiva College’s forbearing institution began in 1886 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Yeshiva Eitz Chaim opened at 44 East Broadway and eventually gave rise to the 17 different educational institutions under the university’s auspices today.
Rabbi Adler graduated from Yeshiva University High School in 1942 and Yeshiva College in 1946, and received semikhah from YU’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in 1948. He was in the first class of YC students taught by the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the 20th century’s foremost Talmudic scholars. While still a student at YC, Rabbi Adler assumed the pulpit of the Young Israel of Kingsbridge synagogue in the Bronx. He left the rabbinate in 1970 to pursue a career as a counseling psychologist and received a doctorate in that field from New York University in 1976. Rabbi Adler served as staff psychologist of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Northport, NY.
Rabbi Grauer’s long and distinguished association with YU began at YU’s Talmudical Academy (today the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys), from which he graduated in 1938. He received a bachelor’s degree from YC in 1941 and was ordained at RIETS in 1945. He was elected rabbi of Congregation Beth El of Miami in 1946, and five years later, assumed the pulpit of the Hebrew Institute of White Plains, where he remained until 1995 when he was elected rabbi emeritus.
Better known as “Coach,” Dr. Halpert has led YU’s men’s basketball teams since 1972. In 1997, he surpassed the victory total of legendary YU coach Bernard “Red” Sarachek. During the 2002-2003 season, Dr. Halpert reached another milestone, amassing 300 career victories. Twice he was voted “Coach of the Year” by the College Basketball Officials Association. He is founder of BackDoor Hoops, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to elevating the basketball skills of yeshiva elementary and high schools players and coaches, and implemented a host of innovative sporting activities during his long career in Orthodox Jewish camping.
For the past 24 years, Dr. Halpert has been the chief executive officer of Camelot, a not-for-profit social service agency in Melville, NY, that provides residential and educational services for handicapped adults and their families. He graduated magna cum laude from Yeshiva College in 1966. That same year, he received a National Defense Fellowship for special education. Dr. Halpert was awarded a Public Law Fellowship for Doctoral Study in Mental Retardation in 1972. He received a PhD from YU’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (today Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology) in 1978.
Dr. Solomon served as a US Air Force chaplain for 23 years. He retired in 1990 with the rank of colonel and 25 military decorations, including Japan’s Zenkokai Medal and Scroll for Heroism, awarded for rescuing an endangered Japanese citizen. While a member of the Tactical Air Command (TAC), he pioneered the development of a Jewish lay leader program that saved the US Government millions of dollars and for which he was cited by the Air Force. The lay leader program became a standard for the Air Force, the US Army, and the US Navy.
Dr. Solomon’s association with Yeshiva University began as an accelerated student at YU’s Talmudical Academy. He graduated from Yeshiva College in 1951 and was ordained by RIETS in 1955. Today, Dr. Solomon is founder of the Teaneck Counseling and Psychotherapy Center. He is the author of four books (two more await publication) on topics ranging from bereavement psychology to the psychology of terrorism. One of his books, a psychological study of the Asian mind, is a best seller in Japan, having gone through 21 printings.
Arthur M. Luxenberg is serving as general chairman of the dinner. Dinner co-chairmen are: Emanuel J. Adler, Samuel H. Solomon, and Stanley I. Raskas. Honorary chairmen are: Marvin S. Bienenfeld, Jay Schottenstein, and Joshua L. Muss.
For further information or to place an ad in the dinner’s commemorative journal, please call Dr. Abraham Mann at 212.960.0852.